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27 May, Saturday
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Montreal Families

Festival promotes a love of reading and writing 

The TD-Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival is a literary event for young readers, offering them access to various activities in and around the city throughout the year. But from April 21-30, the festival ramps up the number of events happening around town in libraries, schools, bookstores and hospitals.

For example, Lydia Lukidis will be at Barbar Books in the Pointe Claire Village launching her new children’s book Deep, Deep Down, on Saturday, April 29 at 11 a.m. Kids can also learn about the culture, language, ecological and spiritual values of author and visual artist Christine Sioui Wawanoloath’s nation through her new Indigenous Storytime series.

Actors Holly Gauthier-Frankel and Eric Davis, and cellist Myelle will perform and read excerpts from the novel What World is Left by Montreal writer Monique Polak. The book is inspired by Polak’s mother’s time in a Nazi concentration camp. The performance will take place at the Westmount Library on April 26 at 7 p.m.

In addition to enhancing kids’ love for reading, the non-profit Blue Metropolis Foundation offers bilingual education programs to raise kids’ awareness of various issues and encourage them to speak out.

The first program is called the Veggie Patch Adventurers, which provides children in elementary school with a second-language learning experience based on literature, cooking, and ecology. In this program, students will be visited by cooking and gardening specialist, who will teach them good life habits and help them become familiar with the different vegetables that can be grown in a garden. As part of the 2023 festival, the students will create a bilingual song, with video, about their vegetable patch adventure.

The second program is the Quebec Roots program, which promotes an interest in writing and allows anglophone teenagers from seven schools across Montreal, Lanaudière, and the Nord-du-Québec regions to share their life stories. Topics may include bullying, homophobia or the stress caused by the pandemic. The students’ texts and pictures will be published in a book, which will be launched during the festival.

For more information about the activities happening at the festival, visit bluemetropolis.org.

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